Timeframe: February 12 to February 18, 2022
Contributors: Affan Bin Saber, Anika Bushra, GM Sifat Iqbal, and Safin Mahmood
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Earthquake aid is entering Syrian opposition-held areas via new routes
An aid convoy passes through a newly opened border crossing into opposition-held northwest Syria, where aid has been slow to arrive since last week’s earthquake, which has killed more than 41,000 people in both Turkey and Syria.
A convoy of 11 UN trucks entered Syria through the reopened Bab al-Salam border point on Tuesday after Bashar al-Assad’s government agreed to let the international community use the crossing for aid.
Before the earthquake hit, nearly all critical humanitarian aid for the more than four million people living in opposition-held areas of northwest Syria was delivered through just one crossing from Turkey – Bab al Hawa.
Ankara has proposed to the international community that it could open two border crossings in southern Kilis province to allow humanitarian aid to be delivered to Syria, Turkish Foreign Minister Cavusoglu said on Monday.
The trucks were loaded with essential humanitarian aid, including shelter materials, mattresses, blankets and carpets, Paul Dillon, spokesman for the UN’s International Organization for Migration (IOM), told AFP news agency.
Source: TRT World
New Jersey Breaks Barriers with Statewide Expansion of AP African American Studies
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has announced plans to expand the Advanced Placement (AP) African American Studies courses to 26 high schools in the state, from one school where it is currently taught.
This move is in contrast to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ ongoing feud with the College Board over the course, which he claims teaches critical race theory.
While the AP African American Studies course is currently in a two-year pilot program in 60 high schools nationwide, DeSantis has blocked it from being taught in public schools in Florida, citing that it violates state law and is not historically accurate. Murphy criticized DeSantis for prioritizing “political culture wars” over academics and stated that “Black History is American History.” The courses are set to expand to hundreds of schools next year.
He added that “While the DeSantis Administration stated that AP African American Studies ‘significantly lacks educational value,’ New Jersey will stand on the side of teaching our full history.”
This will create a game-changing impact on America’s socio-economic impact which will increase the rate of acceptance among the native people of this state for a better future.
Egypt denies agreement with Israeli company for Suez Canal
Egypt’s Suez Canal Authority (SCA) has denied reports about contracting an Israeli company to manage its services.
In a statement on Friday, SCA chief Osama Rabie termed reports about contracting a foreign company to run the canal as “completely and utterly untrue”.
He reiterated Egypt’s sovereignty in all political and economic aspects through managing, operating and maintaining the navigational facility of the Suez Canal.
Rabie said the authority is committed to its social responsibilities by announcing all its contracts in various forms, including contracts or memorandums of understanding and disclosing the terms of the contracts and their importance.
Source: TRT World
2. Economics & Business
Euro zone is seen dodging recession as the energy crunch eases
According to European Commission, the eurozone will perform better than previously forecasted due to a mild winter and increased gas storage levels to alleviate the energy crisis.
The officials of the European Union in Brussels forecasted a 0.9% expansion in the currency bloc, thus stating that it would narrowly escape a recession. They also expect the inflation to lower to 5.6%, which was previously predicted to be 6.1%.
The government will monitor the new projections closely as they attempt to wean the people and companies off aid offered to address the energy crisis and provide more appropriate interventions. However, the commission stated that Russia-Ukraine might influence these predictions due to the risks that geopolitical tensions and war present. This uncertainty will be detrimental to the economy and investors.
Source: TBS News
Japan is planning to build another fertilizer factory in Bangladesh
Similar to the Ghorashal Fertilizer Factory in Ashuganj, Bangladesh, the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) has indicated interest in establishing another fertilizer factory.
The JBIC has also expressed interest in funding several industries, including as sugar, automobiles, and electronics. According to BSS, the information was shared at a meeting on Thursday between JBIC Governor Hayashi Nobumitsu and Industries Minister Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun in the city’s Industries Ministry. According to Humayun, Japan supports Bangladesh’s industry and agriculture in a number of ways.
He said. “We are working together on setting up fertiliser plant. The development of the Japanese economic zone in Narayanganj is ongoing,”
Source: Financial Express
3. Science & Technology
Tesla to Open Charging stations to Other EVs
The Biden administration is moving the US toward a more expansive and cohesive network of EV charging stations as part of its clean energy priorities. Tesla has agreed to open part of its charging network to non-Tesla electric vehicles.
The infrastructure coordinator, Mitch Landrieu, stated that this would make more public chargers available for all electric vehicles. The $7.5 billion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will be spent on building out a network of 500,000 EV chargers across the country. EV chargers backed by federal funding must provide charging access for any electric vehicle. Tesla will be able to obtain federal funds for some 7,500 chargers that it expects to open up to non-Tesla vehicles by the end of 2024.
Other automakers like GM, Ford, Mercedes and Volvo are also supporting the effort through partnerships or direct investments. The new development comes as the White House works to ramp up its clean energy priorities that would call for spending billions in funding and incentives for states, businesses and consumers in order to curb greenhouse gas emissions. The Biden administration has set a goal for EVs to make up half of all vehicle sales in the US by 2030 and to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.
The move by the country’s dominant EV player will help expand what remains limited national access to public charging.
Source: CBS News
Agile autonomous robots to investigate the seas
Technology has come to the point that, agile autonomous robots, Without the need for a ship, assist researchers in ocean exploration.MBARI engineers have been creating ocean research robots that operate independently of ships to comprehend the vast marine environment. The long-range autonomous vehicle (LRAUV) developed by MBARI is a quick robot that can be launched from piers, beaches, and small boats to carry out challenging missions independently for several weeks to months.
Outside MBARI’s research facility in Moss Landing, California, engineers from the organization managed the LRAUV’s initial deployment from the shore. While Software Engineer Tom O’Reilly stood watch from the shore, Mechanical Engineer Brett Hobson and Software Engineer Brian Kieft put on wetsuits and carefully wheeled the LRAUV into the sea. Hobson and Kieft freed the robot from its carriage once it was floating in the waves and sent it on a quick trip out to sea. The LRAUV returned to Hobson and Kieft after completing its mission, who re-secured the vehicle on its cart and pushed it back onto the beach among the breaking waves.
In the future, according to MBARI experts, autonomous robots will work without the assistance of crew members or ships, 365 days a year. This audacious idea for autonomous exploration is supported by the LRAUV’s capability to be launched and recovered from a ship or the beach.
The world’s coal consumption has reached a new high in 2022 as the energy crisis shaked markets
According to a report published by IEA, global coal energy will rise exponentially amid the energy crisis. It will continue to grow in the upcoming years unless there are no substantial efforts to transition to clean energy.
There was an increase in the prices of natural gases amid the energy crisis, and it had a twofold consequence. The first was a shift in demand for coal-powered plants, and the other was that decreased economic growth led to lower demand for electricity. Although China was an exception, where strict Covid 19 restrictions slowed economic demand, the summer’s heatwave and drought increased the demand for coal power generation.
In developed economies, the use of coal is expected to decrease as there will be a shift towards renewable energy resources. On the other hand, emerging and developing economies are expected to increase their reliance on coal to aid their economic growth.
Disclaimer: The information provided here is obtained solely from the aforementioned third parties. Youth Policy Forum (YPF) is not responsible for any misinformation or misrepresentation.